The 2023 turf season is underway and the team were in fine form in April, our 13 winners including a treble on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle.
Our first winner on the AW Finals card was Desert Cop, who came into the race on the back of a maiden win at Kempton Park in February and with an official rating of 79. However, he is a very progressive and talented young sprinter and showed his more experienced rivals a clean pair of heels in the 3 Year Old Final, winning with plenty to spare. He looks capable of stepping up into pattern company and will head for the Group 3 Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot.
Notre Belle Bete is a force to be reckoned with on the All-Weather and his record in this sphere now stands at four wins from eight starts after a career-best effort to land the Easter Classic Middle Distance Final, travelling powerfully and quickening well to win on his first attempt at 1m2f since joining us. He has run some good races on turf and we’ll switch him back to the grass next.
Berkshire Shadow landed the final leg of the treble, all three winning under Oisin Murphy, in the Mile Final. The 2021 Coventry winner had won nicely on his seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton in March in the Listed Lady Wulfruna, on his first start since being gelded. He saw the trip out well and he is a really exciting prospect for the year ahead, with the Lockinge potentially next on his agenda.
Foxes Tales was another to win on his second start back from a gelding operation, the classy five-year-old gaining a deserved success at Listed level in the Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park, coming home clear under Oisin Murphy. He could head to Chester for the Huxley Stakes and looks capable of making his mark at Group level this term.
The impressive performance of Old Harrovian on his second career outing at Lingfield Park at the beginning of the month was built on with a wide-margin win under a penalty at Wolverhampton, streaking clear to win by 10 lengths under Callum Hutchinson. The four-year-old son of Sea The Stars is rapidly making up for lost time and looks a black-type performer in the making.
Kadovar was another to win by a street, pulling 9.5 lengths clear of the field when belatedly getting off the mark at Epsom at the sixth attempt. It was a marked improvement and though life will be tougher when he switches to handicap company off his new mark, this well-related colt looks to have a bright future.
Following three promising runs at two, Torre Del Oro showed much-improved form to win on handicap debut/seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton, quickening smartly in the home straight under David Probert. That success has not gone unnoticed, with the handicapper reacting with a 10lbs rise, but he has the scope for plenty of progress and could develop into a smart handicapper this term. Similar comments apply to Vetiver, who was an impressive, wide-margin winner at Beverley under P J McDonald, making all the running to record a second course success, having won a novice at the course in September. She looks a lovely prospect.
Saint George has been improving with racing and he made it third time lucky when shedding his maiden tag in a novice contest at Southwell stepped up to 1m3f. He finished off his race really strongly under Oisin Murphy and, out of a mare that was Listed placed over 1m7f in France, should continue to progress with time and distance.
Grenham Bay had run a really promising race on his return from seven months off at Wolverhampton in March and built on that with a game success at Kempton Park at the beginning of the month. That form has since been well-advertised by the runner-up winning impressively in handicap company, so his mark of 75 looks very workable.
It was pleasing to see Sovereign Spirit get off the mark on his third outing of the year, travelling well and putting the race to bed in good style under Oisin Murphy at Lingfield Park. He can build on this first win and continue to progress.
Our first two-year-old winner of the year came courtesy of Spanish Phoenix, who built on his debut fourth at Kempton Park earlier in the month to draw right away from a pair of rivals at Leicester at the end of the month. A son of first-season sire Phoenix Of Spain, he is an exciting prospect for the season ahead.